Research

Forecasts and market analysis based on price assessments from Fastmarkets MB and Fastmarkets AMM

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February 2019 | North American Steels


Price hikes aim to stop the downtrend: US Flat Product Highlights


Seeing the tumbling market, buyers opted to stay on the side lines, waiting for prices to hit the bottom before committing to new orders.

US flat steel prices continued to weaken through January, making it the sixth consecutive month of declines in coil prices. The Fastmarkets AMM daily HRC index started January at $724.2 per ton, but by the middle of the month broke below the $700 barrier and closed January at $662.6 per ton. Last time HRC prices were around $660 per ton was at the start of 2018, bringing prices firmly back to the pre-Section 232 level. Downstream coil prices also fell, although declines were smaller: CRC prices were down by $36 per ton month on month, and HDG by $39 per ton.

Seeing the tumbling market, buyers opted to stay on the side lines, waiting for prices to hit the bottom before committing to new orders. They could afford to take a pause with mills’ lead-times for HRC remaining below four weeks, and sometimes as short as two weeks....

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